There was an urgent need for partnership like never envisaged before the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This was a very important but necessary strategy conceptualised and deployed by the minister of the territory, Mallam Musa Bello Mohammed, to help reduce the spread of the virus and also in the provision of the emergent infrastructural projects to tackle the malaise of the coronavirus.
The minister in his usual masterstroke manner realised that there was an urgent need to device a new sensitisation and awareness strategy to combat this deadly pandemic and the only way to go to urgently succeed in the implementation of this goal is through partnership with the private sector and the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
The minister in his quest to succeed in this daunting but achievable task set up a ministerial advisory committee led by Dr. Aliyu Moddibbo Umar to wage a successful campaign against the coronavirus with the provision and deployment of adequate bed spaces, palliatives, medical supplies, equipment and personnel.
Due to the fact that many of the Abuja residents were living in denial at the initial period of the pandemic, the task before the minister became daunting and in his usual character of showing leadership through partnership, the minister deployed a strategy of defeating the spread of the virus through partnership with the private sector and communication. This strategy paid up with the interest shown by the private sector in the territory to join forces with the FCT authorities to wage a common war to defeat the pandemic.
The minister’s call for partnership worked with the coming together of the Abuja private sector as a group to partner the government by combining forces to create awareness in the territory, supporting health care professionals, institutions and the government through the mobilisation of funds to build capacity for our hospitals.
As a beginning of the success of this partnership, the private sector through collaboration built well equipped medical tents for the treatment, testing, isolation of patients. The medical tents also served as training centres for medical personnel who after successful training are retained to serve as testing professionals in newly established tents.
The private sector partnership with the government of Abuja has improved and supported the mobilisation of funds to the Covid-19 awareness and sensitisation programme of the minister. This is through the mobilisation of funds across industries for the provision of technical and operational support while providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives.
The private partners through the efforts of the minister have now after initial scepticism acknowledged through this collaboration with government, that Covid-19 endangers all of our collective health both social, economic and psychological and it is important that we all put our hands together to fight this collective enemy.
The battle ahead, the partnership acknowledges, is daunting and bigger than the interest of any one organisation. It became therefore imperative for both the Abuja authorities and its private partners to come together as one.Most of the physical projects under construction by this partnership initially were built for immediate needs. They have also helped in supplementing government’s testing with private labs so that the waiting period will be defeated by the patients.
The collaborative efforts between the Abuja authorities and the private sectors have really worked as it has evidently made the fight against the Covid-19 very successful. This has further enhanced the position of the FCT minister that the government alone cannot go it alone in the fight against this deadly virus.There is now that belief in the territory that when the government sees the private sector as partners in progress, the better for us all.
Mallam Bello Mohammed must be commended for these altruistic measures and deliberate agenda of bringing the collaboration between the FCT and the private sector to life. This action has enhanced the narrative that when the government accords the private sector the recognition that they are brothers in progress, the better for the society. Today, we are proud that our minister has managed the pandemic well to the glory of God and humanity.
Musa writes from Abuja